Thesis: CISM Program Surry Nuclear Power

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[. . .] To understand the role of cultural and how it may affect the design and implementation of these measures.

The following will address the specific needs of each group victims.


The group of primary targets for the program will include first responders and plant workers who are at the greatest danger of illness from radiation exposure. Those that are closest to the accident are also the most likely to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as result of this exposure (Pietrantoni & Prati, 2008). The focus of the CISM for these workers will be preparing them for the possibility of stress from an emergency at the Surry plant. The focus will be first on prevention, then relief of acute symptoms, followed by measures to help alleviate long-term consequences from stress.

Prevention .As with the other groups in this plan, preventative measures will focus on education about the emotional affects of a potential event, as well as exercises and practice in the development of strategies to help cope with feelings and emotions before, during, and after the event. These workers will be provided this education in a training classroom session with an instructor who is qualified to teach the course. The course will be funded by community resources in conjunction with the existing emergency plan.

Resilience. Resilience and recovery from the incident will be the second major goal of the CISM plan. Stress resulting from critical incidents can cause symptoms that include burnout, fatigue, and diminish self-esteem and self-efficacy. Unless the person has the tools that they need to make a complete recovery, the symptoms can lead to long-term disorders such as depression and anxiety. First responders' self-esteem and self-efficacy were found to be predictive of their ability to recover after a critical incident (Pietrantoni & Prati, 2008).

Self-esteem and self-efficacy are a result of a combination of factors that cannot be controlled within the scope of the CISM program. However, actions can be taken to help increase the person's ability to recover and develop appropriate coping mechanisms so that acute symptoms do not progress into long-term conditions. Under the proposed plan, first responders and those closest to the accident site would be provided debriefing within 48 hours of the incident, group counseling, and individual counseling for those who are determined to be in need of such services. The services are designed to help provide an individualized approach to building resiliency among primary victims of the incident.


Secondary victims of the incident will be provided a more generalized approach to building resiliency from the incident. As members of this group are not formally a part of the organization, they cannot be required to attend formal classes intended to provide preventative services. The only exception to this is in the case of medical personnel, who will be provided trainers to conduct educational classes on how to prevent critical incident stress in the event of an emergency at the Surry Power Plant. These classes will be offered to any medical personnel who wishes to attend from Surry and the surrounding counties. Classes will be conducted at local hospitals of personnel from a consultancy firm that specializes in CISM training.

In addition to these classes, consultancy will also will offer classes to families of first responders and power plant personnel. These classes will be voluntary and it will be recognized that for some families these classes might increase anxiety, rather than relieve it. This is a key reason for using a voluntary approach to classes for secondary victims. Knowledge can be a powerful tool in the ability to alleviate fear. Providing family's with resources and a plan in the event that the war should happen, can be comforting and reduce stress.


Tertiary victims of mental health issues resulting from a critical incident at the nuclear power plant will include community intervention aimed at providing general information to the larger part of the population surrounding the plant. This approach will include distribution of materials in the former brochures and other written media that informs the public about measures they can take in the event of an emergency at the Surry Power Plant. Prevention and preparation are the key to eliminating many of the problems associated with an incident at the plant. Other media will also be used such as local television in radio to deliver targeted public service information to the public about what to do in the event of an emergency at the plant. It is felt that the more information public has about what to do and steps they can take to prepare, the less the impact would be if an actual emergency were to occur. These efforts will be funded through public funding in grants provided for such activities.


Interventions will be focused on prevention and building resiliency and those who are potentially in harm's way. However, certain interventions are targeted to take place during the actual event, or as soon after as possible. Interventions will include psychological first aid and treat debriefing, treatments for acute stress and the screening in monitoring for development of PTSD. Actions will also be taken to prevent the development of chronic health problems as result of the incident. The primary focus of interventions will be primary victims. They will receive the intervention first, as soon as is safe at the scene according to the situation.

Psychological first aid or debriefing.Psychological first aid, or debriefing, has been controversial in the past and it is even being claimed that it may do more harm than good (Regel, 2007). Although it is received mixed empirical results (Jacobs, Horne-Meyer, & Jones, 2004), it is still practiced in critical incident scenarios. It is the belief of this consultancy that debriefing which is done by trained professionals and in a way that is sensitive to the needs of individuals can be an excellent tool for screening and for the prevention of or serious problems in the future (Blesdoe & Barnes, 2003;Mitchell, 1986; Ostrow, 1996). The debriefer understands that individuals may respond to the critical incident differently (Mitchell, 1983). The debriefing will be performed by a seasoned professional who understands the needs a primary victims of critical incidents.

Acute Stress. All on-scene manager taking part in this program will receive special training on how to recognize the signs of acute stress. Preventative educational programs will also be directed loved ones of those who may become involved in a critical incident. The first step in treating acute stress is to recognize it. Often a person who is experiencing the signs of acute stress cannot recognize it in themselves. Managers will be trained to recognize the signs of acute stress and how to take appropriate measures to get the person the specialized help that they need as quickly as possible. As part of the CISM, it will be mandated that anyone who shows signs of acute stress will be removed three lower stress position as soon as feasible (VA National Center for PTSD, 2010).

PTSD. The signs of PTSD can manifest during the incident or soon after. They may manifest many years down the road or be part of the ongoing "changes" in a person after the event. Psychological first aid, removing a person showing signs of acute stress from the scene, and taking appropriate measures to build a resiliency among first responders and those who would be closest to an emergency situation are the home key steps it will be taken to prevent the development of PTSD in primary victims of the scene. Secondary victims will also be provided group sessions and educational classes to help them avoid developing PTSD as well. Primary and secondary victims to find themselves to be in need of individual programs will be provided the funds and resources to obtain the help that they need.

Chronic health and innovative approaches. The preventive measures and intervention measures presented in this proposal are designed to help prevent the chronic health problems associated with exposure to a critical incident. For some, this can mean the development of addictive behaviors (Hartman, 2010). Family members can often provide support by allowing the victim to talk, but this does not underscore the importance of professional help to prevent the development of persistent patterns ((CISM International, 2010a; CISM International, 2010b)The focus is on return to normal life as soon as possible by allowing the person to practice positive coping skills to manage their stress. For some, this may mean a lifestyle change that includes attention to addressing one's own health needs.

Cultural Issues

The Surry county and surrounding area is a diverse cultural center and contains many populations including Hispanic, Asian, and other immigrants. The needs of these immigrant groups will be addressed by specialists that speak their own language and understand their customs. Informational materials will be printed in languages that reflect the needs of these various cultural groups. This will be performed for primary, secondary, and tertiary individuals. Cultural issues are clearly… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Thesis:

APA Format

CISM Program Surry Nuclear Power.  (2011, September 15).  Retrieved May 25, 2019, from

MLA Format

"CISM Program Surry Nuclear Power."  15 September 2011.  Web.  25 May 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"CISM Program Surry Nuclear Power."  September 15, 2011.  Accessed May 25, 2019.